Charlton protests: Jose Riga says he understands fans' anger but needs support

Jose Riga
Jose Riga was reappointed by Charlton in January

Charlton head coach Jose Riga says he understands why fans are unhappy, but has urged them to stay behind his relegation-threatened team.

Supporters made their discontent clear before, during and after Sunday's 2-0 win at home to Middlesbrough.

"I can understand the protests. I understand the situation," Riga told BBC Radio London.

"But they have to understand that I just want to do my job. I hope there is no animosity between us."

The Addicks are next to bottom of the Championship table and have been plagued by problems on and off the pitch in recent seasons.

Beating Boro boosted their hopes of staying up, but the match was overshadowed by protests both in and outside The Valley.

Beach balls were used as part of the protests at Charlton
Groundstaff had to clear beach balls thrown onto the pitch at the start of the game

A coffin was brought to the ground by supporters unhappy with the way Roland Duchatelet and chief executive Katrien Meire are running the club.

And the start of the game was then disrupted when beach balls were thrown onto the pitch, and whistles blown in the crowd later caused confusion for players.

There was also a pitch invasion by a small number of fans after the first goal, others left the ground in the 74th minute to mark the number of goals the team have conceded this season.

There was then a demonstration outside the stadium after the match.

Riga, who is in his second spell in charge, insisted the fans still have a vital role to play as his side battle against the drop.

"I just hope the fans can make the difference (in terms) of what I bring to bring to the team," he said.

"Particularly in England, when the game starts the players are focused on what they have to do on the pitch."

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